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November 27, 2013

Smithy play looking to tour

By Bera Dunau Staff Writer
Cooperstown Crier

---- — The Smithy Center for the Arts’ Glimmer Globe Theatre production of the “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” has just finished its fourth run, but those involved have no intention of allowing the curtains to close for good.

“We really want to tour it,” said Danielle Newell, Executive Director of the Smithy Center for the Arts and the producer and director of the show.

The premise of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” is that a three man theater company has decided to put on a production of William Shakespeare’s complete works – in 97 minutes. What follows is a dynamic play that involves, among other things, the actors playing multiple roles, many costume changes, and Hamlet being performed backwards.

“It’s like Monty Python, except live,” said Newell, who noted that because the performers and the audience feed off each other during the show, each performance is different.

Newell said that she is a longtime fan of the play.

“Shakespeare Abridged is a project I’ve wanted to work on quite literally since I was 10 or 11 years old,” said Newell.

She also said that what brings the Glimmer Globe production together is its three actors: Steve Dillon, Jake Wansor and Michael Henrici.

“The fellas are so gifted and so so funny,” said Newell. “They have an incredible amount of fun onstage.”

Newell said that they began rehearsing this spring, and that the show had its first run at The Cooperstown Theatre Festival in July, where it was very well received.

Said Newell,“They (community members) kept asking, please please do it again.”

This resulted in a second run of the show at The Cooperstown Theatre Festival in August. Newell was then approached by the Oneonta Theatre, and asked if the production could run there for a weekend in November. This proved to be so popular that the run was extended to a second weekend, which concluded on Nov. 24.

While they have not lined up another venue to bring “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” to, Newell said that they do have plans to tour it. In terms of the kinds of venues they are looking for, Newell cited schools, community theaters and small and large local theaters as places they would like to take the show.

“Everything you need is in a trunk,” said Newell, who said that the show can be set up and ready to go in a matter of minutes.

At the same time, she said that the production delivers the highest level of professional acting.

“The quality of the performances is superb,” said Newell.

Newell asks that anyone interested in hosting a performance of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” contact her. She can be reach by emailing director@smithyarts.org or by calling 547-8671.